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4.3.1 Arguments for preserving species&habitats

1. Ecological:

  • Life support service value is present in preserving biodiversity in many diverse area eg: rainforests: they are vital to the water cycle, they stabilize fragile soil by preventing soil erosion, they are responsible for regulating temp. and weather patterns in the areas surrounding the forest, they act as cabon sinks. Insects are needed as pollinators, mammals and birds for dispersing seeds, decomposers and detrivores.
  • Ecosystems support functions as species are interdependent. Some species are keystone species, which if revomed from an ecosystem can lead to many other species becoming extinct.
  • In relation to the tropical rainforests the biologist E.O. Wilson concluded that "we are breaking the crucible of evolution"; we are not only removing species, we are also removing the process of regenerating them.
  • Ecosystems are at their most stable and least prone to disturbance from external factos when they contain the largest number of native species. 
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4.3.1 Arguments for preserving species&habitats

2. Economic

  • Natural products such as timber and for medicine and biotechnology.
  • Food such as wheat, rice and maize, all of which are derived from wild plants. Preservation of biodiversity should retain sufficient genetic and species diveristy for staple foods which can be invaluable in the future in case pests and disease overcome present agricultural strains.
  • Many habitats have substantial value for eco-tourism. 
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4.3.1 Arguments for preserving species&habitats

3. Scientific

  • The number of species and their interactions are still poorly understood. When ares of biodiversity are lost before they can be studied, irreversible damage is done to scientific knowledge.

4. Education

  • Naturally occuring biodiversity presents a huge richness of knowledge that can be included into educational programmes.

5. Genetic Diversity

  • All species are a potential source of valuable genes that can be used in genetic engineering and genetic enhancement. When a species is gone, so is its genetic inheritance. 
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4.3.1 Arguments for preserving species&habitats

6. Aesthetic value

  • Nature has always been the subject matter and inspiration for poetry, literature, music and art. 
  • An aesthetic experience of nature is important in healthy childhood development, both mentally and physically.

7. Human Rights

  • Preservation of eg. the rainforest allows indgienous people to live in them.

8. Ethical Reasons

  • Each species on Earth has the right to exist.
  • Future generations of people deserve to experience and see the different species.
  • Humans as the dominant form have the responsibility to protect the widest range of biodiversity as possible. 
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4.3.2 Role of GO's and NGO's: ecosystems

>Intergovernmental Organizations (GO's) are bodies established through international agreements to protect the environment and bring together governments to work together on an international scale.

Examples are:

  • United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
  • European Environmental Agency (EEA)

>Non-governmental organziations (NGO's) are not run by, funded by or influenced by governments of any country.

Examples are:

  • Greenpeace
  • World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
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4.3.2 Role of GO's and NGO's: ecosystems

GO's:

  • Tend to be more conservative - they have a more conventional approach to conservation and are not likely to be controversial.
  • Tend to gather information from scientic research which they pay for.

NGO's:

  • Tend to more radical.
  • Tend to be field-based, gathering information to back up their arguments.
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4.3.2 Role of GO's and NGO's: ecosystems

COMPARING THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF GO'S AND NGO'S

Use of media

>Go's (eg. UNEP):

  • Professional media liaison officers prepare statements.
  • Media is used for reporting progress as international news events by releasing clips and informative videos.
  • In general they don't sensationalize events.

>NGO's (eg WWF, Greenpeace):

  • Advertise on popular channels by showing footages of own protest activities.
  • Use media for fund raising and awareness raising combined.
  • A variety of media are used as part of campaigns that may use sensationsal tactics to gain public support.
  • Leaflets and events such as "Earth Hour".
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4.3.2 Role of GO's and NGO's: ecosystems

COMPARING THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF GO'S AND NGO'S:

Speed of response:

>Go's (eg UNEP):

  • Fairly slow - many countries are involved in reaching a consensus through the UN.
  • Most meet legal requirements in many countries.

>NGO's (eg WWF, Greencpeace):

  • Decisions can be made rapidly.
  • The organizations are independent and can make own decisions. 
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4.3.2 Role of GO's and NGO's: ecosystems

COMPARING THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF GO'S AND NGO'S:

Diplomatic constraints

>GO's (eg UNEP)

  • They cannot give opinions ithout consulting lawyers and other countries because they represent many nations.
  • International disagreements can cause serious constraints.

>NGO's (eg WWF, Greenpeace)

  • Relations are with international non-profit-making companies and generally unaffected by politics.
  • Activities may be illegal, although this is generally discouraged. 
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4.3.2 Role of GO's and NGO's: ecosystems

COMPARING THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF GO'S AND NGO'S:

Political Influence

>GO's (eg UNEP)

  • Great - direct access to the governments of many countries.

>NGO's (eg WWF, Greenpeace)

  • No direct political influence but works to raise political awareness and campaigns on environmental issues - green politics.
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4.3.2 Role of GO's and NGO's: ecosystems

COMPARING THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF GO'S AND NGO'S:

Enforceability

>GO's (eg UNEP)

  • Through international agreements and laws. 

>NGO's (eg WWF, Greenpeace)

  • Rely on public pressure rather than legal power to influence governments; no power to enforce laws.
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